Monday, May 28, 2012
Top 5 Questions Students Ask Me
1. Where is Ms. So-and-So? There is always a student who wants to know where their regular teacher is. Most of the time I don't even know the answer to that question, but even if I do, I don't usually want to tell them the real answer. So I use a humorous response to that one. Depending on the grade level, I might say things like: she's visiting Candyland today; she's spending the whole day doing nothing but eating cotton candy; she's auditioning for American Idol... anything crazily outlandish, and the sillier the better. Sometimes the students even get a kick out of trying to figure out if I am kidding or not.
2. What time is recess/lunch/specials? It doesn't seem to matter whether it's kindergarten or fifth grade, someone always asks about times for standard parts of the schedule. In that case, I always have the same response. "It's the same time it's been all year." I know, it's sarcastic. But I always follow it up with a correct response.
3. Is this for a grade? Always, always, always, I tell them it is for a grade. They just don't put in any effort otherwise (which is sad, but that is another story). Most of the time the students can tell whether it's busy work or not, but I always have them turn in every assignment left for them and tell them it will be graded.
4. Can we use marker? Oh my, how those elementary kiddos love their markers! It makes them positively giddy if you say yes to that question. If it's something I know is a graded assignment, I ask what the normal rule is in the classroom. If it's something I know is enrichment or extra practice, I might say yes just to make them happy.
5. Can we work in partners? Many of the classrooms I sub in use cooperative learning in some way and allow the students to work on some things in partners or groups. Again, I always answer a question with a question and ask what the regular rule is in the classroom. Sometimes it is specified on the lesson plans, but if it's not, then I use discretion, and again, if possible, I try to allow them to do it. The more you can legitimately say yes (never say yes just to please the students), the easier your day will go.
I have gotten a slew of crazy questions too, but it never fails that these pop up at some time during each day. What regular questions do you get?